Your 2021 Guide to Your Company UTR Number
Your company UTR number is a number issued to your business by HMRC in order to monitor your tax obligations, match payments to records, and check for any suspicious activity.
Company UTR numbers are used when working with accountants to complete financial obligations like self-assessment tax returns and to prepay taxes.
Sometimes there is confusion over personal and company UTR numbers as it is common for business owners to be issued with both.
If a person has registered for self-assessment tax because they are a sole trader, these numbers are retained as personal UTR numbers and cannot be used as company UTRs. Instead, HMRC will assign a separate company UTR number once your business has officially been recognised as incorporated.
In this blog we’ll cover other commonly asked questions about company UTR numbers to bring you a quick and up to date 2021 guide.
What is a UTR number?
Your company UTR number, or Unique Taxpayer Reference number, is a unique ten digit number that is exclusive to your company.
It is only used for the purpose of identifying your business when dealing with HMRC and fulfilling necessary tax obligations. Just like your National Insurance Number, UTR numbers remain the same throughout a person’s life, or for the length of time that a business is established.
Why you need a UTR number
If you’ve set up a limited company, or you’re self-employed, you need a UTR number so that you can file self-assessment tax returns. Other important reasons to be issued with a UTR number include:
- HMRC being able to monitor your tax obligations
A company UTR number ensures that HMRC can monitor your company’s tax filings. This is particularly useful if you’ve overpaid, as it will guarantee you a refund.
- Allowing you to file tax returns
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need your personal UTR to file your self assessment tax return. If you’re the business owner of a limited company, you’ll need your company UTR number to calculate your company’s tax and pay your returns.
It’s important to note that tax is going digital from the first of April 2022, and your UTR number will be a necessity. Make sure you’re prepared by using our checklist.
- Being able to work alongside accountants
Accountants, like us at iFinance Department, will need your company UTR to be able to assist when filing financial documents and dealing with HMRC on your behalf.
Filing taxes and dealing with HMRC are just some of the reasons your limited company may need an accountant. Find out other reasons why your limited company may need an accountant here.
How to register for your company UTR number
Registering for your company UTR is an automatic process once you begin to incorporate a limited company, or register yourself for self-assessment tax returns.
Once you have completed the HMRC registration process, you will automatically receive your company UTR via either email or on a letter. Please note that it can take up to a month to receive your letter with your company UTR number, so if tax obligations are coming up fast for your company – it’s best to register ahead of time.
To successfully register for your company UTR number, you’ll be asked to provide the following as part of the registration process, and this is a mandatory requirement:
- Your full name
- Your current address
- Your date of birth
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your National Insurance Number
- Either: The date that your self-employment began, or the type of business you’re starting
- Your business address
- Your business contact information, such as a phone number
There is no charge to apply for your company UTR number, and provided you have all the necessary information to hand it’s a quick process. You can either complete the form online, or you can fill out a physical copy and post it – although this will take longer than an online registration and could delay receiving your number further, so bear this in mind if you are working to a particular deadline.
How to find your company UTR number
There are a number of different ways to find your UTR number if you already have one. As it’s ten-digits, a UTR number is fairly easy to identify and it is normally preceded on emails and letters from HMRC by the words “Your Company’s UTR”. It is also mostly always situated in the top right hand corner of letters from HMRC.
To find it, check documents from HMRC including:
- Your “Welcome to self-assessment” letter, also called SA250
- Any previous tax returns
- Any payment reminders
- Any notices to file tax returns
- Your statements of account
Company UTR numbers can also be found online using your Government Gateway account, and they’re located in the top right hand corner of your account summary – similar to their placement on letters.
How to find a lost UTR number
One very common issue that arises with UTR numbers is how to find them if they get lost. It’s easy enough to do and we know that amongst all the communication HMRC sends it can be easy to misplace the letter or throw out the wrong one.
Thankfully if you do lose your UTR number, there’s no need to panic. To retrieve a lost UTR number, business owners can call HMRC’s self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310. Please be aware that you’ll need your National Insurance Number and other identifying information to hand.
Company UTR FAQs
- If I purchase a company and continue to trade under the same name and number, will the company UTR change?
No. If a business is purchased and continues to trade under its existing identity, the company UTR will remain valid as nothing about the business has changed except from its ownership.
On the other hand, if the business’s assets and liabilities are being transferred from one company to the acquiring company – rendering it not trading under its existing identity – then instead the acquiring company’s UTR number will take its place and be applicable for all dealings of the now merged businesses.
- Does a UTR deactivate?
UTRs remain the same for the length of time that a business exists, but if a company or self-employed entity for whatever reason stops having a need for the number – for instance the company becomes dormant, stops trading or doesn’t earn enough to pay tax – the UTR number will become inactive. It will reactivate automatically no matter how much time has passed once a new tax return is submitted.
- Do UTR numbers apply for partnerships and limited companies with more than one director?
Yes. The overall partnership will be issued a UTR number, and each individual partner will also be assigned a personal UTR number.
In limited companies, each company director, as well as the overall company, will be issued with a UTR number and HMRC or the company accountant will prompt as to which one should be used on which filings.
If you need an accountant
We can help! At iFinance Department we support small and medium sized businesses with all of their accounting needs. We can file tax returns, communicate with HMRC on your behalf, take care of payroll, prepare accounts and much much more. To find out more about how we can help you, why not schedule an initial free consultation with us at your convenience?